DE10204943B4 - Method for determining layer thicknesses - Google Patents

Method for determining layer thicknesses

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Publication number
DE10204943B4
DE10204943B4 DE2002104943 DE10204943A DE10204943B4 DE 10204943 B4 DE10204943 B4 DE 10204943B4 DE 2002104943 DE2002104943 DE 2002104943 DE 10204943 A DE10204943 A DE 10204943A DE 10204943 B4 DE10204943 B4 DE 10204943B4
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Germany
Prior art keywords
reflection spectrum
λ
number
sample
layer thicknesses
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DE2002104943
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German (de)
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DE10204943A1 (en
Inventor
Horst Dr. Engel
Hakon Dr. Mikkelsen
Joachim Dr. Wienecke
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Leica Microsystems Wetzlar GmbH
Leica Microsystems Jena GmbH
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Leica Microsystems Wetzlar GmbH
Leica Microsystems Jena GmbH
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Priority to DE2002104943 priority Critical patent/DE10204943B4/en
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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01BMEASURING LENGTH, THICKNESS OR SIMILAR LINEAR DIMENSIONS; MEASURING ANGLES; MEASURING AREAS; MEASURING IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACES OR CONTOURS
    • G01B11/00Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means
    • G01B11/02Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring length, width or thickness
    • G01B11/06Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring length, width or thickness for measuring thickness, e.g. of sheet material
    • G01B11/0616Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring length, width or thickness for measuring thickness, e.g. of sheet material of coating
    • G01B11/0625Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring length, width or thickness for measuring thickness, e.g. of sheet material of coating with measurement of absorption or reflection

Abstract

Method for determining layer thicknesses and optical parameters of a number (N) of layers of a sample, comprising
The introduction of the sample into a measuring arrangement and the measurement of the reflection spectrum of the sample in a predetermined wavelength range,
The smoothing of the measured reflection spectrum by reducing noise caused predominantly by external influences,
- the selection of a set (S 1 ) of a number (M) of ordered wavelengths (λ 1, i ), with i = 1, ..., M, wherein each one wavelength (λ 1, i ) in the Quantity (S 1 ) corresponds in each case to a local extremum in the smoothed reflection spectrum, and the selection is made under the condition that two adjacent extrema differ by at least one predetermined contrast criterion, and that one of the two extremes is a minimum, the other a maximum,
- the stepwise fitting of a modeled reflection spectrum to the smoothed reflection spectrum for the number (N) of layers with the aid of a model, which layer thicknesses or layer thicknesses and optical parameters ...

Description

  • The The invention relates to a method for determining layer thicknesses and optical parameters of a number of layers of a sample, in which the reflection spectrum of the sample is measured and then smoothed, and a modeled reflection spectrum is matched to the measured one so as to determine the layer thicknesses, and refers to the problem the determination of the thicknesses of multilayer systems.
  • Reflection spectrometry is a long-known and widely used method of investigation of layer systems, in particular of wafers, and for determination the layer thicknesses and other optical parameters. The method is very simple in principle: a sample that has several layers has, is irradiated with light of a predetermined wavelength. If the layers are transparent, the light penetrates into the media and is in the transition areas between two layers, including the transition between the uppermost Layer and the surrounding atmosphere heard, partially reflected. By overlay incident and reflected light causes interference, what the intensity of the reflected light. The ratio of intensities of incident and reflected light determines the so-called absolute reflectance, both intensities are therefore to be measured. varies now the wavelength in a given range continuously, you get that Reflection spectrum, depending on from the wavelength Maxima and minima caused by the interference become. The location of these extremes depends on the material properties the sample which determines the optical behavior. To these optical Counting parameters for example refractive index and absorption coefficient. Farther affected the layer thickness the position of the extrema in the reflection spectrum.
  • Basically it is possible to deduce these parameters from the measured reflection spectrum; regarding The thickness of the layers and their number are in an ideal Model the limits very broad. The basic formulas can be derived from the Fresnel diffraction theory, as in the article "Polycrystalline silicon film thickness measurement from analysis of visible reflectance spectra "by P. S. Hauge in J. Opt. Soc. Am., Vol. 69 (8), 1979, pages 1143-1152 becomes. Like the book by O. Stenzel, "Das Dünnschichtspektrum", Akademieverlag 1996, pp. 77 to 80, the provision is designed the optical constants and layer thicknesses by recalculation in reality However, very difficult and expensive, as the number of unknowns is very big.
  • One is therefore dependent on approximations or must make restrictions. The easiest way to determine the thickness, if one limits the number of layers on a layer whose thickness is to be determined. In this case, a relationship between the layer thickness d and the refractive indices n (λ i ) for the wavelengths λ i belonging to extrema in the reflection spectrum can be established, the index i indicating the extrema. If the reflection spectrum contains a total number of m extremes between any two selected extrema λ i and λ j , then the layer thickness d can be calculated according to the equation
    Figure 00020001
    determine. However, in order to arrive at this expression, one has to make the limiting assumption of a weakly dispersive layer, with strong dispersion this formula fails, as well as with absorbent layers. This limits the class of materials that can be examined. Furthermore, it is assumed that the wavelength-dependent refractive index n (λ) is known. For example, this is based on the "Extrema method" in the scriptures US 4,984,894 described method for determining the layer thickness of a layer.
  • In Scripture US 5,440,141 A method for determining the thicknesses of three layers is described. An approximate thickness of the first layer is determined by the above-mentioned "extrema method." In order to determine the exact thickness of the first layer, a modeled one is then modeled in a range of about ± 100 nm around this value for different thicknesses (i) And (ii) determines the deviations of the respectively modeled from the measured reflection spectrum These deviations are summarized in an error function E in which the deviations are received in quadratic form:
    Figure 00030001
    w λ is a weighting factor, R ex is the experimentally determined reflection spectrum, R th is the reflection spectrum modeled for a layer thickness. This function E dependent on the layer thickness is then minimized, ie the modeled reflection spectrum is sought where the deviations are smallest. The layer thickness at which the function E is minimal is identified as the actual layer thickness. In the case of multiple layers, however, this method can only be carried out if the first layer reflects in a first wavelength range in which the deeper layers absorb the light, so that they can be disregarded in the thickness determination of the first layer. In the cited document, reflection measurements are therefore carried out in two different wavelength ranges.
  • Around determining an approximate thickness of the second layer a frequency analysis of the reflection spectrum in the second wavelength range carried out, based on the fact that Periodically repeat maxima and minima in the reflection spectrum, what happens in the converted spectrum by the occurrence more or less pronounced Makes peaks noticeable. From these tips can be first approximatively on the thickness infer the second layer. A Approximate thickness of the third layer is provided by low pass filtering Here, too, the different material properties of the layer stack are exploited. In a similar way as for the thickness the first layer becomes one of the thicknesses of the second and third Layer dependent Error function minimized, d. H. those thicknesses are sought for which the Deviations from experimental and modeled reflection spectrum are the smallest.
  • From the Scriptures US 5,440,141 So it is clear that although the thicknesses of several layers can be determined, this works only for layer combinations of certain materials.
  • In Scripture US 5,493,401 Finally, a method for determining the thicknesses of - in principle - any number of layers is described. First of all, the total number of extrema as well as the smallest and largest wavelength, which corresponds to an extremum, are determined. From these variables can be concluded that the total thickness of the layer stack, ie on the summed thicknesses of the individual layers. For different combinations of individual thicknesses, which add up to give the total thickness, a modeled reflection spectrum is then calculated in each case and an error function E similar to that described above is formed, which contains the deviations of the modeled from the experimental reflection spectrum. It is then sought that combination of thicknesses for which these deviations are the smallest.
  • However, the field of application is also in US 5,493,401 limited method described. As soon as the experimental spectrum is changed more strongly by influences that are not or only insufficiently considered in the model, the results are no longer reliable, and one gets with high probability an incorrect set of layer thicknesses for which the function E assumes a local minimum. Light scattering, as z. B. occurs in poly-silicon, and roughness of the sample surface affect z. For example, the expression of extremes - with strong roughness and high light scattering some extremes will be less pronounced, ie have a lower re flexionsgrad than actually predicted in the model. Also, an insufficient spectral resolution of the spectrometer can cause changes. Furthermore, the materials must be known because the refractive indices are given, as well as the absorption constants. Also changing to the expression of the extrema are pronounced strong dispersion or absorption. In particular, in the UV range, where the absorption is high, there may be deviations between modeled and experimental reflection spectrum, which is why the in the Scriptures US 5,493,401 also preferably used at wavelengths in the range of 400 to 800 nm.
  • These Factors that can change the experimental reflection spectrum become in all theoretical models reflecting the different evaluation methods not or only insufficiently taken into account. The bigger the Deviations from the modeled and measured reflection spectrum are, the bigger it gets the uncertainty in finding a minimum of error function, d. H. in determining the optimum layer thicknesses, and under circumstances beats this search completely failed. This has led, among other things, that depending on Sample system a particular, adapted model is used, what for special Material combinations provides acceptable results, but at other sample systems failed.
  • Based on this prior art, the present invention seeks to provide a method develop with which the optical parameters and thicknesses of multilayer systems can be determined more reliably than before and which are less sensitive to disturbing factors that influence the reflection spectrum.
  • According to the invention in a method of the type described above, comprising in a first step, the introduction of a sample with a number N layers whose thicknesses are to be determined in a measuring arrangement and the measurement of the reflection spectrum of the sample in a predetermined wavelength range, in one second step, the smoothing of the measured reflection spectrum by reducing noise caused largely by external influences, in a third step, the selection of a set S 1 of a number M, according to the size of ordered wavelengths λ 1, i , where i = 1, .. ., M, wherein each one wavelength λ 1, i in the set S 1 corresponds in each case to a local extremum in the smoothed reflection spectrum, and the selection is made under the condition that two adjacent extremes differ by at least one predetermined contrast criterion, and the one the two extremes have a minimum, the other a maximum, in a fourth Stepwise fitting a modeled reflection spectrum to the smoothed reflection spectrum for the number N of layers by means of a model, which layer thicknesses or layer thicknesses and optical parameters are given as variable quantities, wherein in each adaptation step a set S 2 of a number M, in the in the same way as in the set S 1 ordered wavelengths λ 2, j , with j = 1, ..., M, is selected, each one wavelength λ 2, j in the set S 2 each to a local extremum in the modeled reflection spectrum The selection is made on the condition that, of two adjacent extrema, one is a minimum, the other a maximum, and in each adjustment step, an optimization criterion is further determined, the best fit corresponding to a minimum of the optimization criterion, and so on Layer thicknesses can be substantially determined, achieved by the Optimi erungskriterium by the totality of the amounts of the wavelength differences of all pairs of wavelengths (λ 1, i , λ 2, i ), with i = 1, ..., M, is determined.
  • The new process is based on the startling finding that it is sufficient The location of the extrema in the model to the location of the extrema in the experimental Spectrum to perform an accurate layer thickness determination can. The totality of the differences of the pairs of wavelengths is the decisive criterion. To avoid having positive and negative differences possibly each other pick up and deliver a wrong set of layer thicknesses, considered one the amount.
  • Prefers Consider the sum of the squares of the differences, because provided The optimization with the help of a computer system is supposed to happen less arithmetic operations needed in this case than when considering the Amount. But other functions, in each case the differences the pairs of wavelengths come in as an amount, are conceivable, for. B. polynomial functions.
  • at a big one Number of extremes and a high number of investigators Samples continue to be cheap, to weight the sum with the number M of extremes, this can then at the same time to assess the quality of the adaptation for different Samples are used.
  • Thereby, that in the inventive method only the wavelengths, but not - like in the methods used so far - compared the reflection spectra the new process is less dependent on disturbing influences. If and how reflections are damped are affected the result therefore not, if they can be measured and in the smoothed Reflection spectrum are present. Also wavelengths where the degree of absorption the sample is so high that the Extremes strongly dampened but are registrable, can be used for examination become. Materials whose investigation with the previous methods not or only with difficulty possible was, are the inventive method also easily accessible, such as polysilicon, which due to the many different Crystal directions has a high light scattering. Furthermore is the analysis of thick layers is possible without any problems. With the new method can be investigated layers of up to 50 microns thick. in principle systems with many layers are also accessible to the process, however, fitting in more than seven layers becomes very time consuming, if you currently usual Home computer used for evaluation and customization.
  • One Another advantage of the method is that also determines optical parameters you can, man can also investigate layer systems of unknown materials.
  • The invention will be explained below with reference to an embodiment. In the dazuge showing impaired drawings
  • 1 the basic structure of a measuring arrangement with sample,
  • 2 the model of a sample,
  • 3 Measured and modeled reflection spectrum for a sample 2 ,
  • In 1 is shown a possible arrangement, as it can be used in principle for determining layer thickness and in the prior art, for. B. in the Scriptures DE 100 21 379 A1 is described. A sample 1 , for example a wafer, is introduced into the measuring system. In 1 the sample is in a holder 2 fixed. From a light source 3 A light beam L goes out via a beam splitter 4 is split into a reference beam R and a measuring beam M. About a lens 5 will be the sample 1 illuminated with the measuring beam M. The arrows and lines are intended to illustrate the light path. As a light source 3 For example, can serve a white light source, but also coherent light sources, such as lasers with tunable wavelength, are conceivable. Also, light sources that emit wavelengths in the optical range that can not be registered directly by the eye are included. By means of the beam splitter 4 It is possible, on the one hand, the direct signal of the light source and on the other hand, that of the sample 1 reflected light in a receiving unit 6 to register. The coupling of the reference light beam R and the measuring light beam L in the receiving unit 6 can, for example, with light guides 7 happen. In the receiving unit 6 becomes the light, if from the light source 3 several wavelengths at the same time, spectrally decomposed, and the intensities of the direct-incident and the reflected light are registered for each measured wavelength. The receiving unit 6 is with an evaluation unit 8th in which it is z. B. may be a commercial home computer, connected.
  • For example, the sample may be a layered system as described in U.S. Pat 2 outlined. On a silicon substrate, a light-insensitive cover layer, a so-called photoresist layer is applied, whose thickness should be according to the manufacturer 6 microns. From which materials this layer is composed, plays no role in this method, in particular the optical material properties need not necessarily be known. Above the photoresist layer is air.
  • After the introduction of the sample 1 In the measuring arrangement, the reflection spectrum is measured in a predetermined wavelength range. The wavelength range may be limited to the area directly perceptible to the eye, but depending on the material system to be examined, it may also be necessary to take smaller or larger wavelengths into account as well.
  • That with a in 2 The reflection spectrum measured in the sample shown is in 3 shown as a black line. Especially in the wavelength range between 400 and 470 nm, the spectrum is considerably noisy, which is due to the measuring device. A smoothing process smooths the measured reflection spectrum, ie it reduces the noise caused by external influences. A common smoothing method which can be used here is, for example, a convolution of the reflection spectrum with a Gaussian function, another example method is the so-called "floating average method." Care must be taken, however, that the oscillations in the spectrum, which are the have steepest ascents or descents and originate from the thickest layers in the layer system, are not attenuated so much that they are not discarded in the next step of the process because they differ by less than one contrast criterion after smoothing The strongly noisy region between 430 and 470 nm can also be used for spectral analysis.
  • From the smoothed reflection spectrum, a set S 1 of a number M wavelengths λ 1, i , with i = 1,..., M, is then selected. The selection is started on one side of the spectrum, for example on the long-wave end of the recorded spectrum, and is terminated on the other side of the spectrum, so that the selected wavelengths λ 1, i are ordered by size. To select a wavelength λ 1, i three conditions must be met: (i) the wavelength λ 1, i must correspond to a local extre mum in the smoothed reflection spectrum, (ii) two adjacent extrema must differ by at least one predetermined contrast criterion, iii) and for two adjacent extrema one must be a minimum and the other a maximum. By specifying a contrast criterion, even existing noise is further reduced after smoothing, or extrema not caused by the layer structure is sorted out. The contrast criterion corresponds to a minimum difference in reflectance for every two adjacent extremes corresponding to the condition mentioned in (iii), which must be exceeded in order to select the smaller of the two wavelengths, provided one chooses the wavelengths long wavy end of the spectrum begins. For example, as a contrast criterion, it may be required that the extrema must differ by at least 4% of the maximum value in the reflection spectrum.
  • Around To determine the layer thicknesses and other optical parameters, one must one Model based, calculated by means of which a reflection spectrum can be. There are different models in the literature offered, with some models known refractive and absorption indices presuppose, as the methods mentioned at the beginning. In the method according to the invention But especially those models can be used not only the layer thicknesses but also optical parameters, like refractive and absorption indices, as variables of variation.
  • With the aid of such a model, a reflection spectrum can then be modeled for a given number N of layers and adapted stepwise to the smoothed reflection spectrum. This can be done, for example, at the evaluation unit 8th be performed. In the process, a reflection spectrum is modeled for different combinations of parameters, which enter as variable variables.
  • For each modeled reflection spectrum, a set S 2 of a number M wavelengths λ 2, j , with i = 1,..., M is then also selected, in analogy to the measured and smoothed reflection spectrum. In this case, the selection is started on the same side of the spectrum on which the selection for the set S 1 has started, so that the selected wavelengths λ 2, i are ordered in the same way as in the set S 1 . The selection is again made under the condition that of two adjacent extrema, one is a minimum and the other is a maximum.
  • Thus, a set S 2 contains as many wavelengths as the set S 1 , and two wavelengths λ 1, i and λ 2, i with the same index i correspond in each case to the extremes in the smoothed or modeled reflection spectrum. which are considered to belong to the same reflexes. For each modeled reflection spectrum, an optimization criterion is determined. The best fit is achieved when the optimization criterion takes a minimum. The optimization criterion can be represented according to the invention, for example, by the following function:
    Figure 00110001
  • Q opt designates the optimization criterion, and {P j } represents the set of parameters that enter the model of the reflection spectrum as variable quantities; the running index j assumes all values between 1 and the maximum number of incoming parameters. In the optimization criterion thus enter the differences of pairs (λ 1, i λ 2, i ) in each case corresponding wavelengths.
  • at There are many ways of determining the minimum of the optimization criterion various possibilities, two of which are mentioned here by way of example in order to clarify the discovery process.
  • In the first possibility, a definition range is first defined for each parameter which enters the model of the reflection spectrum as a variable variable, ie the parameters can each lie between a predetermined minimum and maximum value. Between these limits, a number of values are set at approximately constant intervals for each parameter. This results in a number of combinations of parameters, and in each adaptation step, a reflection spectrum is modeled for one of these combinations, the optimization criterion is determined and compared with the optimization criterion of the combination of parameters that has hitherto provided the minimum. If it returns a smaller value, the previous combination is discarded and the optimization criterion calculated in this step is defined as a new minimum. The combination of parameters that yields the new minimum is stored as an optimal combination of parameters, for example, in a memory located in the evaluation unit 8th can be located. Since no optimization criterion from a previous step is present in the first adaptation step, it makes sense to allocate a very large value, eg. B. 10 20 , the optimization criterion. This value is generally fallen below immediately in the first adaptation step.
  • In this way, of all possible combinations of parameters, one can find those whose optimization criterion is minimal in comparison with the others and which therefore comes closest to the actual parameters. With this method, it is very easy to study the global minimum, or at least the area in the vicinity of this minimum, in an accuracy that is approximately equal to the distance between two examined values of a parameter, since one examines parameter combinations over a large range of parameter combinations ters, find.
  • When second option let yourself a more accurate determination of the minimum using standardized mathematical Algorithms, such. B. the method of conjugated gradients, to reach. Here, however, a prerequisite is that of a parameter combination which comes very close to the global minimum, otherwise there is a risk of finding a local minimum. moreover this method is very time consuming. For this reason, it is recommended first to narrow the area in which the assumed global minimum lies, for example, with the method mentioned as a first option and the combination of parameters found there as output combination for to use the gradient method.
  • To increase the layer thickness of the photoresist layer of the in 2 To determine the system shown, this combination of the two options was used. Variable sizes are the layer thickness of the photoresist layer and its refractive index. The reflection spectrum, whose optimization criterion yields a minimum, is in 3 shown as a gray line. The layer thickness results in a value of 6149 nm. This again clearly shows an advantage of the method according to the invention in that also optical parameters can be determined.
  • 1
    sample
    2
    bracket
    3
    light source
    4
    beamsplitter
    5
    lens
    6
    receiver unit
    7
    light pipes
    8th
    evaluation
    L
    ray of light
    R
    reference beam
    M
    measuring beam

Claims (3)

  1. Method for determining layer thicknesses and optical parameters of a number (N) of layers of a sample, comprising: - introducing the sample into a measuring arrangement and measuring the reflection spectrum of the sample in a predetermined wavelength range, - smoothing the measured reflection spectrum by reducing it mainly from the outside The generation of a set (S 1 ) of a number (M) of ordered wavelengths (λ 1, i ), i = 1, ..., M, one wavelength (λ 1, i ) in the set (S 1 ) corresponds in each case to a local extremum in the smoothed reflection spectrum, and the selection is made under the condition that two adjacent extrema differ by at least one predetermined contrast criterion, and one of the two extremes is a minimum, the other is a maximum, - the gradual fitting of a modeled reflection spectrum to the smoothed reflection spectrum for the Number (N) of layers by means of a model, which layer thicknesses or layer thicknesses and optical parameters are given as variable quantities, wherein in each adaptation step - a set (S 2 ) of a number (M) in the same way as in the set ( S 1 ) ordered wavelengths (λ 2, j ), with j = 1, ..., M, is selected, wherein each one wavelength (λ 2, j ) in the set (S 2 ) each modeled to a local extremum Reflection spectrum corresponds, and the selection is made under the condition that of two adjacent extrema one is a minimum, the other is a maximum, and an optimization criterion is determined, the minimum indicates a best fit, - identifies the model thicknesses at best adaptation as actual layer thicknesses are, - characterized in that the optimization criterion by the sum of the amounts of the wavelength differences of all pairs of wavelengths (λ 1, i , λ 2, i ), with i = 1, ..., M, bes is taken.
  2. Method according to Claim 1, characterized in that the optimization criterion is defined by the sum of the squared differences (λ 1, i2, i ) of all pairs of wavelengths (λ 1, i , λ 2, i ), where i = 1,. .., M, is determined.
  3. Method according to claim 2, characterized in that that the Sum is weighted by the number (M).
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